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Last edit: wpsteel66 on Thursday, 14th March 2013 3:56 pm
Last response by wpsteel66 17th March 3:00pm

This report provides some comments regarding my recent Vegas trip.

Dates: Arrived Thursday evening (March 7) and departed Monday night (March 11).

Hotel: Monte Carlo…first time staying here…overall I cannot complain for 3 of the nights comped up front with no resort fee for any night… the rooms were nice but nothing spectacular… these rooms are due for some updating…to my surprise a Kurig machine was in the room with 2 K-cups plus 2 bottled waters were provided each day…fitness center was better than NYNY, but not as nice as Aria…a good number of cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights… the hot tub and sauna plus a nice locker room were included…the main complaint was not wi-fi in the rooms, but they had an internet connection for your computer…view was of the strip, but did not hear any strip noise…

Food: Big Belly breakfast Buffet (Monte Carlo)…I actually liked this buffet, a good selection, good taste, shrimp already pealed, crab legs sliced in half (lazy crab legs); I do not vote this as the best Vegas buffet, but I have no problem going back.
Todd English P.U.B… Nice food menu selection along with beers (although no seasonal brews available)…within 5 minutes of ordering my burger and fries, they brought this to me…overall was pleased with the food quality and service… the only negative was the loud music, so I was glad the wife was not with me this trip.
Luxor lunch Buffet…I went to Mandalay Bay for dinner buffet on my way to returning the rental car and catching my flight…but they were closed due to being between lunch and dinner and I did not have time to wait…so I walked over to Luxor and was able to get into their with the lunch crowd, but they started serving dinner items while I was there…overall the buffet was not all that great and nothing outstanding… maybe my evaluation was not so good since because I was not feeling well…I doubt I would go back…
One thing I did notice was both buffets have self serve drinks (maybe a way to reduce the work force) and MGM appears to be changing to Pepsi.

NASCAR race: As I mentioned before, I travel to Vegas for this race and catch up with my younger brother who works for one of the teams…this is one of the 2 or 3 times a year that I see him…not a sell out crowd on Sunday, a lot of seats open in turns 3 and 4…but still better crowd than 2010 (the lowest I have seen since 2009)…the race was not-too-exciting for the first 80 laps, but then got to be more interesting…a few years ago I purchased an in-car radio and headset so I can not only listen to the radio broadcast of the race, but listen in on the drivers…you need a head set at this track since you cannot hear the radio over the intercom…I am not a Kyle Busch fan, but he is kinda interesting to listen to…by reading the newspaper and seeing a lot of people in the hotels with NASCAR gear on, this event does bring a lot of people into town…I was talking to a few guys Sunday night that went to the race and took the shuttle buses from the strip to the track…sounds as though this may not be the way to travel back from the track…over a 2.5 hour wait to board a bus after the race…normally I would attend the Saturday Nationwide race, but did not this year due to the half-marathon

Red Rock Half-Marathon: I ran this race Saturday morning out in Red Rock park…started at 7am, but we had to be at Suncoast casino to catch a bus to the park by 6:15am…this was my second half-marathon I ever ran and I was expecting this to be tougher than the race last month…I drove the 13 mile loop of the park this past July, so I had an idea of the hills… according to the race website, starting at mile 1 you start a 1000 foot incline until mile 5.4…but then you still have to run up a few more hills afterwards… then some downhill followed by pretty much level road… and then about the last mile a small steady elevation to the finish line…I read over the race results from last year and noticed that about 15-20 mins will be added to the winners time compared to a ‘flat’ course… so my goal was 2 hours, and I was just under 1 minute over my goal…I did not have any leg discomfort during the rest of my Vegas trip, but I could tell that I had a really good run…so I skipped using the fitness center for the rest of the trip…the full-marathoners had even a tougher course…they ran the opposite direction of us and then turned around and ran to our finish line…

Casino: Played craps at Monte Carlo, Mirage, and Bellagio…did not get down to NYNY, one place I like to play craps…Aria was always packed when I visited this casino, so I just went to Bellagio…Aria was usually $15 min and at times Monte Carlo also was…Bellagio had a mixture of $10 to $100…I had to pick up my race package Friday night at Suncoast, so stopped by the craps table for about 1.5 hours…some guy had a really nice roll…the pit boss was not too happy since a couple of us were pressing our bets up with each hit and he was hitting hard-8s with us betting on this...Monte Carlo typically did not have all 4 tables open during my trip, so at times the tables got really crowded…so that I why I went to Bellagio…

Some Other Notes: The “wheel” across from Mandalay Bay still has the pillars standing with scaffolding, but no workers or heavy equipment…must still be waiting on those parts being build in Europe…drove down Koval Street Friday night and saw the Linq “wheel” framework …kinda reminded me of the London Eye framework….as already posted, MGM looks like it wants to “out blast” Cosmo and Pho with the new Aria marquee, a monster indeed…maybe I was lucky, but the club crowd was actually pretty calm and not disruptive when I was at the tables…while at the Bellagio, found out that our table boxman was from the same home town as my mother…small world we live in.

Airport: Not a lot of people flying out…got into the airport and through security in no time…

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 sandyastrogl1de responded on Friday, 15th March 2013

The wait for the shuttle buses may have been due to the ital accident on I-15, they were probably holding them there rather than having them sit in traffic for hours.

 wpsteel66 replied on Sunday, 17th March 2013

The buses do not use I-15.